St Alexis Mission - Lafayette, IN
Saint Alexis Orthodox Church in Lafayette, Indiana, began as a student organization at Purdue University more than 30 years ago. Priests came from nearby areas to serve Divine Liturgy and hear confessions whenever they could be scheduled. In the 1980's, some faithful Orthodox in Lafayette and West Lafayette began the search for a full-time priest and a permanent location to establish a parish. Between 1976 and 1990, the faithful had been worshiping at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church on the Purdue University Campus. Attendance averaged 25.
Then in 1993, Fr. Charles Sunderland, who had been retired for some time, volunteered to begin the mission parish on the foundation established by the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at Purdue. He was appointed Mission Parish Administrator by Metropolitan Nicholas in October, 1993. Services moved to St. Elizabeth Hospital Chapel that year and both attendance and membership rose steadily. In March, 1998, St. Alexis Orthodox Church moved to our first permanent home on South 24th Street in Lafayette. In October, 2000 our parish was blessed by the ordination to the Holy Priesthood of Father Gregory Allard, and a few years later Father Deacon Alexander Boutselis was ordained to the Diaconate. In July of 2001, our beloved Fr. Charles and Matushka Ann Sunderland retired to Colorado.
Within the jurisdiction of the American Carpatho-Russian Greek Catholic Archdiocese, the St. Alexis Mission Parish serves a growing number of both university students and families from north-western Indiana. "Cradle" Orthodox from the Greek, Syrian, Russian, Romanian, Ukrainian and Carpatho-Russian traditions worship at St. Alexis along with converts from Protestant denominations and former Roman Catholics in our uniquely "American" melting-pot parish. With the grace of God inspiring the generosity of our parish family, we retired the mortgage on the 24th street property and began saving for the construction of a permanent temple.
In 2004, St. Alexis Mission Parish was gifted with a plot of land just north of Lafayette-West Lafayette which will become the site of the new temple. A building committee has been hard at work with a local architect to finalize a design and develop a construction budget. It is our firm prayer that God will bless our efforts and that a new St. Alexis Orthodox temple will grace the wooded hillside at the junction of State Routes 43 and 225.